Filing Your Export Shipments through the Automated Export System (AES)
Federal law requires that prior to international shipment, you may need to file your export transaction electronically. This electronic filing is referred to as Electronic Export Information (EEI filing) and is required when the value of the commodity classified under each individual Schedule B number is over $2,500, or if a validated export license is required.* The information about export transactions allows the U.S. Census Bureau to collect trade data on U.S. exports and to ensure compliance with U.S. export regulations. The EEI filing is submitted to the Automated Export System (AESDirect) hosted on the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform. Before considering the steps below, you can view our video series on the AES system.
Prior to exporting, you should acquire the Schedule B number for the commodity to be exported. This number can be obtained from the Census Bureau at 1-800-549- 0595, or visit our webpage for the Schedule B search tool and steps.
* You also need to know if an export license is required (and if so, know the export license number. Our export regulations video and webpages can assist you.
EEI Filing Requirements
File your export transaction when your shipment includes any of the following shipments:
- valued over $2,500 per Schedule B number and is sent from the same exporter to the same buyer and on the same day; (According to the FTR Section 30.1(c), value is defined as the selling price in U.S. dollars plus inland and domestic freight, insurance, and other charges to the U.S. seaport, airport, or land border port of export);
- requiring an export license, regardless of value or destination;
- subject to the ITAR even if they are exempt from export licensing requirements regardless of value or destination;
- falling under “600 series” of the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for items enumerated in paragraphs “a to x”;
- requiring license exception-Strategic Trade Authorization (STA);
- destined for Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria (regardless of value);
- rough diamonds, regardless of value (HTS 7102.10, 7102.21 and 7102.31) and destination;
- self-propelled vehicles;
- shipped TO Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands (with the same requirements as shipping to foreign countries.)
If the exporter is sending baggage or containers with their personal or household goods valued over $2,500 to a foreign destination, other than Canada, they must file the EEI and provide the ITN to the carrier in accordance with the timeline.
If the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is sending goods through the U.S. Postal Service, they are required to file the EEI only if the entire shipment is valued over $2,500 per Schedule B or if it requires an export license. The exporter should submit the ITN or exemption citation to the post office, if applicable.
EEI Filing Exemptions
- Small shipments up to $2,500 U.S.
- Shipments FROM the U.S. to Canada of ANY amount unless the merchandise requires an export license or permit, is subject to ITAR, or involves rough diamonds, self-propelled vehicles, or is transiting Canada. If Canada exempt, note on the commercial invoice.
- Shipments TO most U.S. possessions (i.e. Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Island, Wake Island, and American Samoa).
- For additional exemptions, see the FTR Sections 30.36-30.40.
- Shipments FROM the U.S. or Puerto Rico to other U.S. Territories.
If your shipment is exempt from EEI filing requirement, you may elect to note this fact on your airway bill of commercial invoice. State “NO EEI 30.37(a)” for shipments when the value of each class of goods is $2,500 or less; “NO EEI; 30.36” for shipments to Canada, etc. It will make the shipping experience smoother.
When to File
In most cases, the filing must be done from one to 24 hours PRIOR to the actual export of the shipment depending on the method of transportation (e.g. shorter times are allowed for express shipments, 72-hour requirement for vehicles).
Who can do the EEI Filing
The U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is typically the U.S. exporter or their authorized agent (e.g. a freight forwarder who has been issue power of attorney). A U.S. agent of the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI) (typically the ultimate consignee). The address for the EEI filing is the address where the goods start their journey to the port of export. The exporter is liable for the accuracy of the filing even if the filing is assigned to another party. Therefore, it is recommended that in such a case, the exporter will request proof of filing.
How to File
You may file your Electronic Export Information for your export transaction by accessing directly ACE secure data portal located on the Customs website. First-time users will need to create an account and obtain a user name and password prior to filing.
To learn more about the EEI filing, note these resources:
- VIDEO series on the AESDirect system. These videos will help exporters to better understand the legal requirements for filing an AES, steps for submitting your Electronic Export Information (EEI) to AES, and the use of authorized agents as an option to filing the EEI.
- ACE AESDirect Resources, and the U.S. Census Bureau website.
- AESDirect User Guide for filing Electronic Export Information.
- For questions about your ACE account, call the ACE Account Service Desk at (866) 530-4172, option 1.
- General questions about EEI filings can be directed to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Data Collection Branch at (800) 549-0595, option 1.
- If you have questions about Shipping Solutions, give us a call at (888) 890-7447 or (651) 905-1727.